Tahlequah Daily Press

OU Sports

October 26, 2013

Sooners knock Texas Tech from rank of unbeatens

NORMAN — Blake Bell and Oklahoma did just enough to knock Texas Tech from the ranks of the unbeaten.

Bell threw for 249 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and Damien Williams added two more scores as No. 17 Oklahoma outlasted No. 10 Texas Tech in a 38-30 win on Saturday.

Jalen Saunders added six catches for 153 yards receiving and both of Bell’s touchdown passes for the Sooners (7-1, 4-1 Big 12 Conference), who rallied after falling behind in the third quarter.

Williams finished with 97 yards rushing for Oklahoma, which forced three turnovers by the Red Raiders.

The loss was the first of the season for Texas Tech (7-1, 4-1) and first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Davis Webb finished 33-of-52 passing for 385 yards for the Red Raiders, who were led by Jace Amaro’s 119 yards receiving on eight catches. Eric Ward added nine catches for 106 yards.

Texas Tech led 7-0 after the first quarter and the offensive shootout was on between two of the Big 12’s best — the defending conference champion Sooners and upstart Red Raiders.

The two teams combined for 986 yards of total offense, with Oklahoma outgaining Texas Tech 526-460.

It was a trio of turnovers, however, that came back to haunt a Red Raiders team that was eager to prove it was worthy of its lofty ranking — despite just one win over a ranked team this season entering the game.

The last of those turnovers came early in the fourth quarter after Oklahoma had taken a 28-24 lead on Lacoltan Bester’s remarkable back-and-forth 35-yard touchdown run.

Texas Tech had rallied from 21-7 behind to take the lead before Bester’s touchdown, but Webb followed by throwing his second interception of the game — a tipped pass off the hands of Ward that Oklahoma’s Gabe Lynn pulled in for the turnover.

Williams followed seven plays and 58 yards later with a 3-yard touchdown run to put the Sooners up 35-24, a lead that held up behind an Oklahoma offense that finished with 277 yards rushing on 50 carries.

Bell added 44 yards rushing on nine carries to his big passing day, while Roy Finch finished with 55 yards on the ground in the balanced effort.

While Bell and the rest of the Oklahoma offense struggled in the first quarter, gaining just 58 yards on four possessions, Texas Tech did its best to show it belonged among the Big 12’s best and in the national spotlight.

The Red Raiders entered the game undefeated in Kingsbury’s first season as coach but facing their most difficult opponent of the season so far.

Once again behind Webb, who has played since Baker Mayfield was injured against Kansas on Oct. 5, Texas Tech took an early 7-0 lead — thanks to a 3-yard touchdown pass from running back Kenny Williams to Ward.

Oklahoma answered with a pair of first-half touchdowns — including a 76-yard strike from Bell to Saunders — to take a 14-7 lead. The Sooners extended that lead to 21-7 to open the second half after Williams scored on a 3-yard touchdown run.

Trailing 38-30 with 1:17 remaining in the game, Texas Tech was unable to gain a first down — securing the win for Oklahoma.

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